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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accuses the Congress of division tactics originating from Karnataka

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has responded to allegations of India's division originating from Karnataka, accusing the Congress party of wielding the "weapon of division." Sitharaman strongly condemned MP DK Suresh's statement on partition, linking it to the Congress's alleged efforts to divide the nation.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accuses the Congress of division tactics originating from Karnataka
First Published Feb 8, 2024, 4:59 PM IST

Finance Minister Sitharaman's statement comes as top Congress leaders from Karnataka, led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, staged a protest at Jantar Mantar, claiming that the central government has inflicted "injustice" upon the state regarding tax devolution and a delay in providing drought relief. The Finance Minister underscored that such divisive tactics have historical roots, referencing Rahul Gandhi's association with the "Tukade Tukade gang" at JNU two years ago.

Sitharaman pointedly asserted that the divisive elements are gaining ground in Karnataka, indicating that the state serves as the starting point for this disintegration strategy. Simultaneously, the Karnataka government is gearing up for a protest in Delhi, alleging discrimination in the release of grants by the central government. Sitharaman, in response, dismissed these claims as politically motivated. 

She emphasised that the central government follows the recommendations of the Finance Commission in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner. Addressing Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhary's remarks about grant discrimination, Sitharaman reiterated the robustness of the system, asserting that no finance minister can unilaterally withhold grants based on personal preferences. 

She highlighted the importance of adhering to the rules and emphasised that all finance ministers, including herself, follow the recommendations of the Finance Commission diligently. Sitharaman emphasized that concerns about grant allocation should be directed to the Finance Commission, a constitutional body responsible for making impartial decisions. She recounted a meeting with Karnataka's Deputy Chief Ministers, where she conveyed that her actions were guided solely by the Finance Commission's recommendations. 

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